Excise Taxes - Federal and State Excise Taxes Affecting the Energy Industry

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Today, not only are your traditional refining and petroleum wholesale marketing companies impacted by Excise Taxes, but also petroleum product/crude importers, pipeline operators, terminal operators, natural gas fractionators and based on proposed legislation previously untaxed alternative fuels may be taxed similar to petroleum based fuels.

Excise Taxes on petroleum products have been in existence for years.  Historically, Excise Taxes applied to traditional petroleum products, such as, gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.  However, changes in the petroleum industry in recent years have increased the reach of Excise Taxes.  With the expansion of commercially available products, such as biodiesel and other renewable fuels, and new source/distribution networks due to the shale play, the number of companies impacted by Excise Taxes has increased sharply.

Please join us as we explore key topics in Excise Tax today, including the following: 
• How to identify if your company has an Excise Tax issue.
• Pending changes to the taxation of and available credits for biodiesel.
• Taxation on imports of petroleum products and crude oil into the US
• Federal Income Tax benefit for biodiesel mixture and alcohol mixture (gasohol) credits
• Federal Excise Tax credits on fuel used in mobile machinery vehicles
• Updates on issues from around the country

Educational Objectives:
• Identify federal income tax benefits for biodiesel and gasohol credits
• Identify federal excise tax credits on fuel used in mobile machinery vehicles
• Understand the principals of taxation on U.S. imports of petroleum products and crude oil
• Know if your company has an Excise Tax Issue

Who would benefit most from attending this program?
Energy company finance and tax executives; financial auditors, compliance officers, CFOs, VPs of Tax, and energy attorneys, investment bankers and financiers.



Shawn O’Brien is a tax partner in the Houston office of Mayer Brown LLP.  Shawn represents clients in all types of tax disputes with taxing authorities on international, federal and state levels. He routinely advises clients on various tax issues during tax examinations, in administrative appeals and as an advocate in trial and appellate litigation before the US Tax Court, US District Courts and US Court of Federal Claims. Shawn's tax controversy and litigation experience spans a broad range of areas, including transfer pricing controversies, debt v. equity issues, international withholdings, advance pricing agreements, “tax shelter” disallowances, research and development tax credits, excise taxes, and changes in accounting methods.

Shawn advises foreign and domestic corporations, partnerships, MLPs, and LLCs seeking corporate and tax advice in connection with various types of foreign and domestic transactions, including 1031 exchanges, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, divestitures, leveraged buyouts, structured financings, and oil and gas transactions. Shawn is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in Louisiana.

Shawn is particularly focused on a variety of tax issues facing the energy industry including tax controversy, joint ventures, restructuring, acquisition and disposition of energy assets. Shawn served as Chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee of the State Bar of Texas Tax Section from 2011 to 2013. 


Jeffrey S. Reed is a member of Mayer Brown’s State and Local Tax Group.  Jeff represents businesses and individuals in audits and state tax litigation before courts and administrative bodies throughout the United States. He has represented clients in state tax controversy matters in over 30 state and local tax jurisdictions. Jeff has experience with all phases of state tax controversy, including audits, administrative hearings, trials and appeals.

Besides his state tax controversy practice, Jeff also advises clients about the potential state tax consequences of complex transactions.  Jeff has obtained favorable letter rulings for clients in approximately a dozen states, including a recent New York advisory opinion concluding that a client’s drop shipment facilitation service is not subject to sales tax (TSB-A-15(20)S).

Jeff has written extensively in the area of state and local taxation and is a regular lecturer on state and local tax matters, Jeff has spoken before organizations including BNA CITE, Bloomberg BNA, the Council on State Taxation (COST), and the Tax Executives Institute (TEI).


Oscar L. Garza is the principal owner of Oscar L. Garza & Associates, P.C. and co-founder of Tax Advisory Services Group, LLC.  His practice focuses on federal and state motor fuel excise taxes and includes client representation before the IRS and state tax revenue departments.  Oscar provides advice and counsel on the proper taxation of commodity transactions and provides tax registration services for clients doing business throughout the United States.

Oscar was formally a Multistate Tax Director in the Houston, Texas office of Deloitte Tax LLP.   He led the Firm’s excise tax practice. Oscar represented clients before the IRS and various state taxing authorities in registration matters and other excise tax issues.  He was also the lead multistate Tax Director for mergers and acquisitions in the Houston office.Prior to joining Deloitte in 2005, Oscar served as Senior Tax Counsel for the Supply and Distribution Business (“Shell Pipeline”) for Shell in the US.  Prior to this position, he was Associate General Tax Counsel responsible for federal and state tax compliance for Shell in the US.


Kelly S. Mathews founded KSM LLC  in 2003 and currently works with clients in the refining and marketing industry, including refiners, traders, and terminal/pipeline operators, and clients in the natural gas industry who operate fractionation plants. Prior to founding the firm, Kelly Mathews began her career at Arthur Andersen (AA). During Kelly's four years at AA, all but four months were spent in AA's motor fuels tax outsourcing practice. During this time, Kelly was exposed to the federal excise tax quarterly return and related deposits and motor fuels tax returns in all 50 states.

After four years at AA, Kelly moved to Ernst & Young (E&Y) to start E&Y's motor fuels tax practice. Kelly remained at E&Y for over four years working exclusively in the motor fuels tax practice area. As an E&Y senior manager, Kelly provided both motor fuels tax return preparation and motor fuels tax consulting services. These services ranged from monthly return preparation to a 30-state review of environmental fees for lube oil products to research of motor fuels tax license requirements in new states. 



Richard is currently a senior manager with Deloitte’s Houston excise tax practice after working with the U.S. Treasury-Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for over forty years. 


Richard began his career with the IRS as a field agent and conducted audits covering all sizes of taxpayers including some of the world’s largest companies.  Prior to his specialization in federal motor fuels Richard worked in the highly complex areas of air transportation, foreign insurance, retail and manufactures taxes and wagering taxes.  Richard spent eight years as a cooperating agent working with the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in the investigation of organized crimes involving federal motor fuel taxes. While working in an undercover joint task force he was given the code name “The Professor” because of his extensive knowledge of federal excise taxes. After testifying in over twenty cases, he moved to the IRS National Office where he finished his career as the Fuel Excise Tax Senior Policy Manager.  In this position he was responsible for developing and managing all national fuel excise tax policy decisions.  Richard was also the Excise Tax liaison with the industry and state taxing authorities.


Richard received a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from San Fernando Valley State College (aka California State University – Northridge).  He is a frequent instructor and speaker at conferences hosted by the American Petroleum Institute, Federation of Tax Administrators, National Biodiesel Board and others.  He has written numerous training documents dealing with all aspects of the federal excise tax system.